Part 9, Continued

Adoria’s eyes flew open. She’d stalled long enough. Her mind was already traveling back, so why should she not begin the first pages of the Memory Book?  Moving her diary to the side, she pulled a different book before her. It was small and thick, made of worn brown leather. Every page within it was empty. Adoria took her pen from behind her ear and began to write…

My dearest Onamara,

I have not held you in my arms yet, nor kissed your face or smoothed your hair from your brow..and already, I love you. I love you so much that I long for you to never feel pain..to never feel neglected or tossed aside or forgotten. It’s my fear that, as you grow older, you will feel these things when thinking of your father. As your mother, it’s my duty to protect you…but I may not be around to do that for long. When that day should come, you will have this book..and in this book, I’ll give you truth so that you may hopefully understand…and forgive.

Never doubt this, Onamara:you were born out of love. Great, passionate, unconditional love. Do not ever think your father left because he did not love me or because he did not want you!

When I was diagnosed with cancer I hid it from everyone, even your father. It was not until we were married that I finally told him. As the sickness progressed your father never left my side. He was a good husband and my best friend through it all. The treatments took a lot out of me, but in the end they worked..It seemed a higher power looked down on us when shortly after my body began to heal I found out I was pregnant with you..

But then the doctors told me what a risk I’d be taking….

 A mental image flashed-like plummeting through time, Adoria saw the past before her..

   “I’m sorry, Adoria..but you simply cannot have this baby. Your body’s grown so weak from the treatments that I’m just not sure you could handle this pregnancy.”  Doctor H. looked at me with sincere concern and apology shining in his eyes. Zef’s hand tightened around mine. “No..no, I must have this baby. The baby’s mine-ours..right, Zef?”  Zef did not answer me but instead continued to stare at my doctor as tears filled in his eyes. Finally, he said to me, “He’s right, Adoria..It’s too much of a risk. As a doctor yourself you should know that. Even if you got through the pregnancy, there’s no guarantee that you’d make it through the birth of the baby…”  “Well,” said Doctor H., “there’s a chance you would make it through, Adoria. However, your immune system is terribly weak. Even if you made it through the birth of baby, I couldn’t promise you’d be..um, healthy..afterwards. Also, the cancer’s gone..for now..We..We just can’t be sure it’s gone for good..We’d need more time…..”  I shook my head as tears began to cloud my vision. “Perhaps you should take some time to think this through. I believe we’ve gone over this enough for one day. Go home and rest, Adoria. I’ll schedule you for a follow up this Thursday.”   Zef helped to pull me to my feet, and hand-in-hand we walked back to the car. Zef held the passenger door open for me and I slid in and strapped on my seat belt with trembling hands as he walked ’round the car and got in on the driver’s side. We rode home in silence.

As we pulled into the drive I turned to look at Zef. A frown had his mouth pulled down at the corners, and his hands gripped the steering wheel tightly. Parking the car, he turned to face me and gave me a half smile. I forced myself to smile back. “It will be okay, Day. We’ll get through this together. I know how much you wanted this baby..but we have to put your health first.”  I was taken aback by his words-did he mean he actually expected me to…I couldn’t think of it. In a daze, I unbuckled my seat belt and got out of the car.

I went through the rest of the night like a zombie..I prepared dinner mechanically, said grace with a hollow heart, and showered after dinner while Zef caught up on sports in the den. By 10:30 we were in bed with all the lights dimmed. I listened as the wind played with the leaves of the trees in my orchard. My head was pressed on Zef’s chest. Soon, he began to snore. I couldn’t sleep..My hand ran down the slight bulge of my stomach..I wouldn’t let them take my baby from me.

  In the morning Zef and I sat at the dining room table. I was drinking my morning coffee and flipping through pages of a book for work while Zef ate a bagel and read the latest headlines in the paper. Suddenly, he set the paper down. “How did you sleep?”  “Fine..good. You?”  “I’ve had better nights,” he answered. “Yeah..” I looked away from him, back down at my book. “So..I was thinking.. You should go ahead and see Doctor H.”  “Why? He told me to come back this Thursday. It’s only Tuesday.”  “Well, I know..but don’t you think this would be easier for you if you just…..you know, got it done with?”  I choked on my warm gulp of coffee. Setting my cup down gently on the table, I searched for the right words to say. “I’m not going to do that, Zef..I’m sorry but..but I just can’t.”  Zef frowned. “What do you mean, you can’t? Day’Lee, you have to. There’s just no other option. You know that. You could..you could die.”  I nodded my head solemnly. “That’s a risk I’ll have to take, Zef..I want to have this baby.”  Zef threw the remains of his bagel against the wall and stood up. He jammed the dining chair up against the side of the table and looked at me with an expression of  unbridled rage. “Have you lost your mind?! You CANNOT have the baby, Day’Lee!”  I stood to face him, now just as angry as him. “Oh yes I can! And I will!”  Zef sputtered incomprehensible words and then as quickly as it had appeared, the anger vanished from his features and was replaced with a look of sorrow.  “Day’Lee….I would rather walk out of this door now and have my last memory of you be this..I’d prefer it…then to later down the road see your body give up..I’d rather lose you in that way than be here to lose you from illness.. We don’t need a baby to make us a family. Here as we are, right here, right now..that’s more than good enough for me.”  ” And it was for me, too. But now, things have changed..and we have a new member in this family…Are you telling me if I have this baby you’ll leave me?”  Zef looked at me thoughtfully, then nodded his head. “Yes, I am, Day’Lee. Only because I don’t want to see you suffer again..We just got past all that! I can’t…I cannot watch you die, Day…..” I sank back into my chair. I was going to have to choose between being Mrs. Adoria Greaves and being a mother?!  “Please go in today….” Zef looked down at me with worry in his eyes. I didn’t answer him, but stared out the window. I watched a butterfly flit by my apple trees with pale purple wings. I watched the clouds make way for the sun. I watched the grass be lovingly raked by the breeze. I watched..until the front door closed and Zef was gone. Calmly, I went to the kitchen to pour myself another cup of coffee, then sat down to finish reading.

************************

When Zef got home from work he opened the door and called out my name..”Up here!,” I shouted to him. I closed my diary and placed it back on my desk. I knew a storm was coming in, so the only light I was using came from a couple candles and the orange-red flames in the fireplace. Besides my diary, I also had my medical reports on my desk. I’d been thumbing through them for hours. My optimism may have been childish, however I’d made my decision and I knew if Zef  could just get past the worry he’d eventually come to be just as overjoyed about the baby as me. I’d also just gotten off the phone with Doctor H., who had told me the baby was a girl..and then proceeded to try yet again to convince me to do what he felt must be done..to which I promptly hung up the phone. Zef walked in without turning any lights on to see by. It made it hard to see his face, which for some reason made what I had to say harder for me..It might have been easier if I just could have known his mood by reading his facial features…

I stood up and watched the shadow of his silhouette as he neared me. He leaned in close, like he was about to kiss me, and I blurted out, “I’m having the baby.”  Quickly, he pulled away from me. “I thought you were going back in to see Doctor H. today? What happened?”  “I’m having the baby, Zef.”  I saw his head turn away and again wished I could see his face clearly. I heard a rustling and looked down to see my medical papers in his right hand.  “So, that’s it..Regardless of the risks and what it would do to me to watch you suffer again…you’ve made up your mind?”  “Yes,” I answered in a low voice.

Zefania scattered the papers high in the air above his head and I watched as they showered down, some catching the breeze from the open window..One flew with the wind and found its final resting place amid the flaming embers in the  fireplace.I stood in silence. A crackle as the flames licked the corners of the paper, then consumed it, turning it into nothing more than black ash…    “Please don’t”, I whispered…..


5 Responses to “Part 9, Continued”

  1. Didi, I love your writing! Really, really do… but something is not logical. How can Zef leeave her is she’s going to have the baby? I mean, maybe she’ll die, but the baby will be there… a girl! The living memory of their love… For him to walk out seems callous and unthoughtful… and how can he claim loving her so much if he leaves her on her own now?
    I don’t mean any of this as a criticism. You are far too good a writer for that. But the reason for him leaving is not quite right… I think.

    I must vote this an excellent chapter though.

  2. PS. Sorry about the spelling mistakes. I got emotional and hit the submit button before checking. 🙂

  3. lol It is okay to get emotional Moondaisy…I was emotional as I typed it out..
    But you must realize something…
    This story was developed because I found the lump in my breast..Now, I’m not saying I have cancer or that I’m dying..but finding that lump got me thinking…What would happen if that WERE the case? How would it affect the people around me? As I sat there, thinking, I knew my fiance would never leave me..However, I started to see that him leaving me would actually be my biggest fear..I took that fear and forced myself to face it..In the story, I put that fear into actions and watched as it played out..
    Zef’s character is faulty..At heart, he’s weak and cannot face things that are parts of life others have to face all the time..Falling for Ibbie proved this-he went for what was superficial before coming back to what was deep, meaningful, and real..In his own way, he loves Adoria..but his kind of love leaves question..

    • Didi, I left a message to your reply to me in chapter 7.

      Thank you for explaing this. It adds a whole new dimension to this story. And in view of Zef’s character it makes totally sense now!

  4. P.S.
    I’m still a bit angry at losing the address of your site in the first place, but what I don’t understand is… I was subscribed to the RSS feed for comments on your posts and never got any notification!

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